TUCSON, Ariz. — The New England Revolution may have come away from their preseason finale against the New York Red Bulls with a win, but the offensive showing in the 2-0 triumph, by their own admission, was not up to snuff.
"It wasn't our best stuff," head coach Jay Heaps told MLSsoccer.com after the match. "We didn't move the ball like we wanted to offensively. But I was really happy with what we did pressure-wise defensively."
New England were outshot 7-3 in the first half, a picture that became even more lopsided as the game wore on.
"Second half, we got a little tired and they broke through, but that's why you have a goalkeeper that makes saves," Heaps said.
That goalkeeper is, of course, Matt Reis, who is starting his 11th season with the Revolution this year.
"Matt is in good form on crosses and corners and set pieces," Heaps sad. "He's got a good sense of himself right now and feels comfortable with the center backs. He's got good communication and feels comfortable playing the ball at the back."
Heaps pointed specifically to some plays in the first half where Reis not only collected the ball at the back, but delivered it to the midfield.
"That's something special," Heaps said. "No other 'keeper, maybe Nick Rimando, has feet like that. When you have that advantage you have to use it."
Reis himself admitted that the game "wasn't pretty," but has hopes for the defensive line in front of him.
"We are all trying hard," the veteran told MLSsoccer.com. "We are all trying to get to know each others' strengths and weaknesses."
"We are really trying to stay turned on for the whole game. It was something we didn't do the other night," he said, referencing a snowy Wednesday night game where the Revs dropped two goals in the final moments of the match. "We are really trying to focus on that and not getting caught at the end of the game like last year."